Once Upon a Romance Opens Its Doors to New Book Reviewers!
(www.onceuponaromance.net) has long been one of the most informative and entertaining book review sites on the Web. Not only are reviews provided, but the site is also in the process of updating and adding to OUAR to offer the latest in Industry News, Author Interviews, and Writing Tips & Articles for the interested author who wishes to learn more and improve their own personal skills.
OUAR has earned their reputation for high-quality, balanced and thorough reviews. And the reviewers at OUAR have set this site apart from all the rest because of the thoughtful and in-depth content they provide for readers.
This is a site that ‘gifts’ their audience of book lovers with all the information necessary to make the perfect purchase. They even touch upon the factors of age/grade recommendations for the YA categories, as well as an overview of ratings when it comes to language, violence, etc. for the adult categories, in order to form a complete ‘picture’ of the novel that their audience is interested in learning more about. Summaries of the books are offered – NOT simply repeats of ‘cover blurbs’ – and each reviewer finishes off their ‘study’ by providing personal thoughts that are always honest, yet professional.
Now OUAR is opening its doors and looking for new reviewers that understand the high-quality and creative reviews that this unique site provides. There are rules to be learned and followed when it comes to such a well-run site, and all prospective reviewers should know that on OUAR, reviewers:
Do not give away the plot through spoilers, but provide a solid summary of the book.
They must know that the difference between an amateur and a professional reviewer is one who acknowledges their personal dislikes, but also takes into consideration that there is an audience who will like the book. Which means, when ratings are given, it must be taken into consideration that a great deal of effort went into the creation of the novel, so each review is fair and honest, but doesn’t receive a rating it doesn’t deserve.
Reviewers must be reasonable with their criticism. If there’s something the reviewer feels readers should know, they put a spin on it to take the ‘heat’ out of it. A review never ends with a negative, it’s always balanced out with a positive.
All reviewers are specific in their comments. They are definite in what they liked – setting, plot, characters; not that they ‘liked it all,’ but why they liked it. When it comes to a series, reviewers include thoughts on the premise, how the relationship has progressed, etc.
OUAR reviewers make sure summaries and personal comments have “meat” to them, so the potential reader has enough info to make that crucial purchase decision. Again, OUAR prides themselves on not simply re-printing the info on the back cover! Believe it or not, reviewers do establish an unseen rapport with readers.
And when it comes to the world of inspiration, an in-depth look is also necessary. Questions, such as:
Are the scriptures quoted sporadically or repeatedly; does the entity of God, or the use of prayers occur greatly throughout the novel? Perhaps one of the characters is overly sanctimonious, or judgmental towards other characters? If so, does this carry on over the course of the book, or does it abate at a slow, or moderate pace? What is the theme, and is it subtle or overt?
Inspiration is a huge genre in the book world, and some readers want a very light hand when it comes to the above information. They wish to be “inspired,” not preached at.
The goal of OUAR is to keep the reader informed.
As everyone in the industry knows, paying reviewers a monetary compensation is generally frowned upon, as it can give the indication that reviewers are paid to provide a highly-positive and highly-rated review every single time – not an honest and fair one. Therefore, payment comes in the free books you’re provided with. You also have a remarkable site where your own personal ‘voice’ can be heard and appreciated, as well as the honor of having your name associated with a highly respected review website in the publishing industry. In addition, reviewers gain exposure to a new audience, and publishers are known to use quotes from OUAR reviews in their advertising.
One of the most important aspects for the prospective reviewer to know, is exactly how OUAR chooses the books/titles to send. This is very important to OUAR, whose reputation is also highly regarded because they care about YOUR reading preferences. Every effort is made to provide the reviewer with books in their preferred genres. There are only specific times, when there’s a backlog of books in other romance/fiction genres, where OUAR may ask that the reviewer be open to reading books outside their preferences from time to time.
OUAR does receive requests to read/review eBooks, but most of the OUAR review team is ‘old school,’ and would prefer to have the actual book in hand. However, this is a personal choice for the reviewer, so if you prefer eBooks, hardcopies, or both, it’s all up to you.
There is very little OUAR doesn’t review, but they do reserve the right – because of time issues – to refuse a novel. And when it comes to turnaround time for the reviewer’s work, it varies. Of course the publisher, publicist, and often the author would like the reviews ASAP, but OUAR realizes there are always life interruptions to contend with. That said, OUAR only asks that the reviewer try to have the reviews completed in a timely manner.
So now, the hunt begins for those great writers, book lovers – all the potential new reviewers out there to submit a sample review. The review coordinator, as well as the owner of OUAR, will read through them, discuss potential, offer feedback and, if necessary, ask questions in order to find that perfect fit for the OUAR team!
In the end, OUAR is a phenomenal site that is highly appreciated by publicists, authors, publishers, and – most importantly – readers. They make sure that all their reviews are top-notch, and they are very excited to bring the next group of reviewers into the ‘fold.’
And, on a personal note, I’ve been working with OUAR for many years now and I have to say – THIS is a fantastic site run by sincerely great people who believe in the world of writing and the beauty of books. Make sure to send your sample review, with the words “Potential Reviewer” in the subject line, to Connie, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Begin your amazing journey with Once Upon a Romance today!
Until Next Time, Everybody,